The Tallmans are keeping it all in the family this weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, Dave Tallman coaches against Dave Tallman as Magnolia meets St. Mary's Ryken (Md.) in a varsity boys basketball game at University High School.
Magnolia's Dave Tallman is known as 'Senior' in New Martinsville, while his son who is the athletic director and boys basketball coach at St. Mary's Ryken is known as 'Junior.' They have never opposed each other on the basketball court.
"It's going to an honor to be on the same court with my father even though we will be at different ends on the sideline," Junior said.
The younger Tallman was a senior captain on the 2000 state championship team coached by his father at Magnolia. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Wheeling Jesuit University, but blew his knee out in his first game.
Junior then turned to coaching and eight years ago became an assistant to Danny Sancomb at St. Mary's Ryken - a private school with an enrollment of 700 students located in Leonardtown, Md. The Knights' basketball program competes in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference - one of the premier leagues in the nation.
"If you turn on the TV on any night to take in a college basketball game, there is usually a kid from our league," said Junior, who became the Knights' head coach five years ago. His most prized recruit was John Flowers, who later played at West Virginia University.
"In our conference, not only are you coaching against the best players, but you are coaching against the best coaches in the country," Junior said.
Following consecutive seasons with 17 wins or more, the Knights are in a rebuilding phase. Entering this week's action, they were 3-13.
Help is on the way, however, with freshman guards Tonny Blackwell and Reggie Parker. And that is why Junior's father is not taking anyone lightly for the game scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. tipoff.
"I think my players sense I am a little more intense in practice than I've been at any time," Senior said. "The last time we went to an event like this in Dayton (Ohio), we didn't fare so well. I know it will be a tough game. They are very athletic and we have to handle the basketball real well."
Before the Magnolia matchup, St. Mary's Ryken hooks up with South Shore (N.Y.) on tonight in Morgantown. Magnolia's crew will be on hand as spectators.
"Honestly, my philosophy is that we will play anybody anywhere," Junior said. "When I received a call they needed a team to play this big-time program from Brooklyn, I said put them on the schedule. We don't run from anyone."
As many as 50 friends and family are expected to attend Saturday's extravaganza.
"It will be cool to shake my son's hand before the game and give him a hug," Senior said. "If his team happens to get us, I think I can live with it and move on, but we are going to do everything we can to win the game."
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org